Ina Fried

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Apple’s Really Good Quarter Was Really, Really Good in China

There was plenty of good news to go around during the Apple earnings conference call, especially since no analysts dared bring up Steve Jobs’s health.

One of the tidbits from the call was just how strong Apple’s business has been in Asia, particularly China. Apple’s four stores in China, on average, get more visitors and generate more revenue than the company’s stores anywhere else. And, if you have been to Apple’s stores in New York or San Francisco, that’s saying something.

Chief Operating Officer Tim Cook said the company decided several years back that of the largest developing economies–Brazil, India, Russia and China–it was China that represented the greatest opportunity. As a result, he said, the company has invested enormous energy there.

“The results of that have been staggering,” he said.

In the latest quarter, Apple had $2.6 billion in revenue from Greater China (mainland China, Hong Kong and Taiwan). That’s up four times from a year ago and nearly what the company did in the entire prior fiscal year. Apple launched a China-specific online store back in October to go along with the four physical locations (including the one in Pudong, shown here).

The company also saw strong results in Korea, led by sales of the iPhone and iPad. For the Asia-Pacific region as a whole, Apple had nearly $5 billion in sales, more than two and a half times what it had a year ago. Sales in Japan, which Apple counts separately, were up 83 percent year-over-year, to more than $1.4 billion.

“We’re placing more and more resource in these areas and continue to look for expansion possibilities,” Cook said.


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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work